• Wednesday, July 24, 2024


Illegal workers: Asian restaurant risks losing licence

A Sri Lankan and South Indian restaurant in London was raided by Home Office personnel and five out of six employees were found working illegally

Five out of six employees at a Sri Lankan and South Indian restaurant on Ealing Road in Wembley had no valid documents to work in the UK. (Picture for representation: iStock)

By: Shajil Kumar

AN Asian restaurant in London risks losing its licence for employing illegal workers, according to media reports.

Gana Restaurant, a Sri Lankan and South Indian restaurant on Ealing Road in Wembley was raided by Home Office personnel last September and five out of six employees were found working illegally, Harrow Online reports.

Immigration Enforcement officers arrested all the five workers. When the raids happened two employees were found sleeping above the premises in a ‘converted storeroom’. Two people were arrested earlier in 2019 for the same offence.

The restaurant will now have its alcohol licence reviewed by Brent Council next month for failing to prevent crime and disorder. As the restaurant happens to be a repeat offender, Immigration Enforcement department wants the council to revoke its licence, as suspension will have limited effect.

The Immigration Enforcement report states that the employer has ‘complete diregard’ for immigration laws and has done nothing to check the documents of people they employ.

The report pointed out that it provides unfair competitive edge and deprives the country’ economy of tax revenue.

All of them were paid below the then prevailing UK minimum wage of £10.42 an hour.

Three of the five arrested had entered the UK on six-month visas that had subsequently expired. None of them had any work permit.

Another man entered the UK as a student from December 2021 until May 2023 – with the right to work for 20 hours during term time.

However, he did not enrol for the course, nor try to extend his visa after it expired.

He admitted to working at the restaurant for more than a year, without paying any income tax.

Another person had a visa valid until April 2024, but had no right to work.

The report noted that the restaurant owner turned up at the restaurant during the inspection.

She claimed that she did not know the employees, who were identified as illegal workers, as she was on maternity leave and her husband was in charge of running the restaurant.

Brent Council’s Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Sub-Committee will review the case on July 11.

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